Category Archives: Nevada Agriculture News

What’s Up With Washhoe?

Is commercial fishing the leading agricultural producer in Washoe County? It appears so but I am baffled as to what is being produced and by whom.

According to this Nevada Department of Agriculture file, commercial fishing is the top money maker for ag in Washoe. Also surprising is that beef is number three. The second spot belongs to the greenhouse, nursery, and horticulture trade.

I’ve e-mailed the Department and they say the figures are accurate, part of a larger census taken in 2015. While aquaculture is a growing industry, it would have had to make giant strides in recent years to pass cattle ranching.

And horticulture? I’d think the climate in Washoe is too cold to profitably maintain greenhouses, unless they are, possibly, using geothermal heat.

Let me know if you know more about these two sectors in Washoe County. I am eager to learn. e-mail: tom@NevadaAg.com

Earthen Dam Fails near Montello, Nevada

The AP and the Elko Daily Free Press report that an earthen dam near Montello in Elko County has failed. The incident occurred on February 8th.

A state of emergency was soon declared by county commissioners. Sheriff deputies were assigned to search for possible victims.

Authorities say extensive damage was caused to many ranches and farms. The town of Montello itself was flooded. 10 miles of State Route 233 were closed. The Union Pacific Railroad line was also impacted.

Nevada’s Water Resources Division engineer Jason King told the AP that the Twentyone Mile Dam passed an inspection last summer. The structure formerly held water for rural irrigation in Elko County.

Wikipedia states that Montello served as a community center for ranching operations in the 1920’s. Its population was 84 in the 2010 census.

2014 Montello photograph courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.

 

 

Nevada To Learn Water Use Lessons From Israel

The Las Vegas Review Journal reports that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce this week is putting on what’s called a BusinessH2O Summit in Las Vegas. The RJ says the purpose is to highlight water management problems with people and groups who make water management decisions. The goal is to produce practical ways to prevent a water crisis.

The article cites Israel as a model of good water development and stewardship. Although over half desert, Israel is an exporter of water, enjoying a national surplus. Desalination experts, it has turned the Mediterranean sea into a source of drinking water. Israel also reclaims 9/10’s of its water, compared to only 1% for the United States.

Prospects seem good for new initiatives and collaboration between Israel and the United States, including Nevada. Wise water management techniques are already being shared between governments. These things can include new drip irrigation methods and ways to practice leak detection.

A Nevada supported group called Waterstart will enter into a “Cooperative agreement with the Israeli Innovation Authority to promote greater collaboration in research and development.” As the most arid state in the nation, Nevada can only benefit from the results of these cooperative efforts.

 

 

 

USDA Invests in Rural Nevada

Did you know that the United States Department of Food and Agriculture provides rental assistance to low income Nevadans? And that they secure loans to rural hotels like the Holiday Express in Elko and the Comfort Inn in Fallon?

According to a USDA Rural Development news release, $69 million in fiscal year 2016 went to rental assistance for low income Nevadans living in apartments the USDA finances. The USDA Rural Development program also secures home loans. Much of Nevada’s population is eligible, with the exceptions of metropolitan Carson City, Washoe, and Clark counties.

In all, over $118 million dollars was invested in different projects in 2016. Besides the programs mentioned above, money went to build a wastewater treatment plant in Winnemucca, to develop marketing programs for farmers and other producers, and to purchase community senior vans and patrol vehicles.

The USDA Rural Development has offices in Carson City, Fallon, Las Vegas and Elko.

Their website is here: https://www.rd.usda.gov

usda-rd-logo

Nevada Medical and Recreational Marijuana News

marijuanaNovember 22, 2016

by Thomas Farley

Citing a press release, Ganjapreneur reports that Maple Leaf Green World, a Canadian agricultural firm, has bought a Nevada marijuana cultivation permit for $500,000. Maple Leaf purchased the permit from BioNeva Innovations of Henderson LLC.

Medical marijuana in Nevada is legal to grow, process, and distribute if the law is closely followed. There are many, many laws, rules and regulations that cover every aspect of the trade. As of now, these are the marijuana establishments possessing State required Final Certificates:

Clark County: 8 laboratories; 47 cultivation facilities; 25 production facilities; 41 dispensaries

Nye County: 4 cultivation facilities; 2 dispensaries ; 2 production facilities

Washoe County: 2 laboratories; 13 cultivation facilities; 8 production facilities; 7 dispensaries

Carson City: 2 cultivation facilities; 2 dispensaries; 1 production facility

Churchill County: 1 dispensary (final inspection pending).[i]

Recreational or adult use of marijuana was decriminalized by ballot initiative on November, 8, 2016. The law goes into effect January 1, 2017. While possessing a certain amount may be legal, it remains uncertain where a Nevadan can buy it. Rules for recreational marijuana shops are now in process throughout the state. Chief among legislator’s concerns are taxes. The Department of Taxation has until January 1, 2018 to implement licensing regulations. The law as outlined in the voter pamphlet is here.

Will farmers growing crops returning marginal income decide to raise marijuana? The future is uncertain. Besides the lengthy, expensive, and elaborate process to becoming certified, either for medical or adult sales, there are security concerns with every phase of marijuana cultivation. Does a farmer really want to risk growing it? Who protects the crop, for example, before and after harvest? As to the government, does law enforcement have enough resources to handle robberies and other crimes associated with this industry? The future is still unfolding for this crop.

Medical Use of Marijuana

  • Nev. Rev. Stat. §§ 453A.010 – 453A.240 (2008)
  • Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§435A.080(1)(a), (2); 435A.250(2) (2008)

[i] Marijuana: http://dpbh.nv.gov/Reg/MME/MME_-_Home/ Accessed 11/22/2016